NHL Power Rankings: Previewing the Flyers’ Metropolitan positon

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Flyers

Head Coach- Dave Hakstol (fourth season)

Key Returning Players- Claude Giroux(C), Sean Couturier, Jakub Voráček, Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov

2018 Outlook

Justin: The Flyers upgraded through free agency by adding James van Riemsdyk, and then not doing much else. This was a good move for the Flyers, who are content to make additions to the roster by added from their prospect pool. The forward group has a chance to be one of the most dynamic in the league, and should finally benefit from some bottom six depth. Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Jake Voracek will return and lead youngsters Nolan Patrick, Travis Konecny, and Oskar Lindblom in a season-long battle for playoff redemption.

Philly will also boast a strong top four defensively, with Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Radko Gudas. The third pairing won’t be flashy, but in limited minutes, shouldn’t hurt them. Goaltending- stop me if you’ve heard this before- will be the Flyers’ biggest weakness as the team will need to rely on Brian Elliot and Michal Neuvirth, both who have struggled to stay healthy.

Bottom Line: The Flyers are too talented up front not to return to the playoffs and possibly make a run into the second round. The real limitation that the team faces is goaltending, but with the defense continuing to improve and mature, and young players like Konecny, Lindblom, and Patrick now more experienced and combining with another elite season from Giroux, this team should take a step forward this year.

Prediction: Fourth in the Metropolitan, 97 pts

Anthony:  The Flyers went and made the big move fans had been begging for when they brought back James van Riemsdyk. JVR will (hopefully) line up with Nolan Patrick to make the second line look dangerous. The Flyers have a loaded top six, but with the addition of some young skilled prospects, the bottom six could be as formidable as any in the division. The Flyers survived on a lot of overtime losses and single points. With the talent added to the roster and some of the anchors let loose, I predict the Flyers will win a few more of those games this season.

Bottom line: The Flyers got better by subtraction AND addition this offseason. As long as the coach doesn’t have the team play not to lose we should be fine.

Prediction: Second in the Metropolitan Division, 100 pts